For my penultimate trip of 2017 I flexed my fledgling travel hacker muscles and redeemed a one way business class flight with my favorite airline, Singapore Airlines, on my way back from a fulfilling trip to my self-proclaimed second home of Korea.
Having flown to Korea with Malaysia Airlines also in business class (my first time out of the cattle class) I was interested to know how different SQ’s business class would be.
Thus began a tale of two flights with different airlines, both flying the same base plane (the Airbus A330-300) but how would their business class hard product/service stack up?
First off, SQ’s business class seating arrangement doesn’t have an option to sit alone as the plane servicing the SIN-ICN route still has the business class seats in pairs. Nice for couples or friends, but not so ideal for solo travellers like myself. I am given to understand that this plane is outfitted with their regional business class seats, and is slightly on the older side. (Side note: Newbie business class travellers may want to study the Milelion’s guide to the SQ fleet to understand the difference!)
Luckily for me, the cabin was not full for my flight and the passengers were fairly spaced out such that I had plenty of space and privacy around. If not for that fact, the older design of SQ’s seats with decidedly less privacy from one’s neighbour would be a minus point. I had no one on my left or right and also no neighbours in front or behind so I was blissfully in a bubble of my own.
For this short flight, SQ provides slippers and ear plugs (blessedly welcome after my previous flight with a heavy snorer) but no pajamas or amenity kit. Which was a bit of a let down but I guess they had to cut corners somewhere on the shorter haul flights?
Pre-flight drink of apple juice. I have not started the habit of drinking alcohol on flights but maybe I should, just to get the most bang for my buck.
I thought I had selected a Book The Cook meal which is supposedly available ex-Incheon but didn’t quibble when offered the Korean meal selection. I wasn’t too sure of myself then, but looking back I should have at least asked. Oh well. Lesson learnt for the next time! I can’t remember exactly (again, not sure why I didn’t take any pictures of the menu) but I think this was pork with rice?
Serivce by the flight crew was good as expected of SQ – they addressed me by name (as they are trained to do!) and were very attentive to detail. Little things like offering to find a different selection of magazines/papers stuck in my mind especially when I was fresh into my comparison with my previous flight with MH. I do acknowledge that it is much easier on the flight crew to attend to 8 or so passengers instead of a full cabin but it felt less rote, if you get my meaning. (Heck even the ANA flight crew were more observant and treated me nicer in economy class compared to the MH crew.)
I treated myself to a cup of hot chocolate before I tried to get some rest on the angled flat seats. It was too dark for me to get a shot of the seat fully extended, but even though it is an angled flat seat, I felt comfy enough to doze fitfully until arrival at Changi.
My flight may have been on an older hard product, but the service experience was more than enough to make up for it. I would definitely want to fly SQ business class again – once I’ve replenished my miles for redemption!